Usually, folks. (used with a plural verb) people in general: Folks say there wasn't much rain last summer.
Often, folks. (used with a plural verb) people of a specified class or group: country folk; poor folks.
(used with a plural verb) people as the carriers of culture, especially as representing the composite of social mores, customs, forms of behavior, etc., in a society: The folk are the bearers of oral tradition.
folks, Informal.
members of one's family; one's relatives: All his folks come from France.
one's parents: Will your folks let you go?
Archaic. a people or tribe.
of or originating among the common people: folk beliefs; a folk hero.
having unknown origins and reflecting the traditional forms of a society: folk culture; folk art.
just folks, Informal. (of persons) simple, unaffected, unsophisticated, or open-hearted people: He enjoyed visiting his grandparents because they were just folks.

before 900; Middle English; Old English folc; cognate with Old Saxon, Old Norse folk, Old High German folk (German Volk)

4. kinfolk, kin, relations, people; clan, tribe. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
folk (fəʊk)
n , pl folk, folks
1.  (functioning as plural; often plural in form) people in general, esp those of a particular group or class: country folk
2.  informal (functioning as plural; usually plural in form) members of a family
3.  informal (functioning as singular) short for folk music
4.  a people or tribe
5.  (modifier) relating to, originating from, or traditional to the common people of a country: a folk song
[Old English folc; related to Old Saxon, Old Norse, Old High German folk]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. folc "common people, men, tribe, multitude," from P.Gmc. *folkom (cf. O.Fris. folk, M.Du. volc, Ger. Volk "people"), from P.Gmc. *fulka-, perhaps originally "host of warriors;" cf. O.N. folk "people," also "army, detachment;" and Lith. pulkas "crowd," O.C.S. pluku "division of an army," both believed
to have been borrowed from P.Gmc. Some have attempted, without success, to link the word to Gk. plethos "multitude;" L. plebs "people, mob," populus "people" or vulgus. Superseded in most senses by people.

"people of one's family," 1715, colloquial, from plural of folk.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
They're looking for folks to plant in urban, suburban, and rural environments.
The pilot tells us to buckle up, folks, we're coming in for a landing.
Annie's doing a great service to the community, and is inspiring other folks
  while she's at it.
It may take some time for folks to understand the environmental and medical
  repercussions of wood burning smoke.
Related Words
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